Italians love holidays. And when they have to blow things up, it makes them even more happy. New Year’s Eve is a holiday in Italy that involves fireworks.
Actually, there are two names for the New Year’s holiday: one for New Year’s Eve, and one for New Year’s Day. New Year’s Eve is December 31. This day is La Festa di San Sistro, Saint Sylvester’s feast day. Sylvester was a fourth-century pope and was buried on December 31. poh
Christmas in Italy tends to be family-oriented. However, New Year’s Eve is less family-oriented. It is the holidays that most Italians love, and it’s open to everyone.
Italy’s New Year’s Eve Traditions
Many Italians will gather with their family and friends to celebrate St. Sylvester’s feast day on New Year’s Eve. It is a tradition to have Christmas dinners in Italy. New Year’s dinners will also feature pork and lentils. Pork symbolizes wealth and lentils are supposed to be like coins. Diners who eat them on New Years Eve are believed to experience prosperity in the next year.
Fireworks at Rome’s Colosseum – Now that’s a great way to welcome the new year.
The festivities do not end with dinner. Italians then head out on the streets after the meal. Many go to outdoor concerts, some to special indoor performances in large cities like Rome. Others just walk to the main squares. As mentioned, Italians love fireworks, and New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest fireworks nights of the year, turning an otherwise not-terribly-important holiday into a big event for many.
Even a little rain doesn’t stop revellers from Venice.
Many cities and towns have fireworks shows, usually in the same place as an outdoor concert. But you will also find smaller groups of people lighting small streets or courtyards with their own firecrackers. Fireworks are loved all over the country and seem to increase in popularity as you travel south. For example, the displays in Naples are more extensive and larger than those in Milan.
This video shows New Year’s Eve fireworks at Naples. You can see the displays from all around the city until the sky lights up. This video is just fifteen minutes long, but the videographer claims that the show can go on for at least an hour.
Underwear is one of my favourite New Year’s traditions from Italy. Yes, really. Yes. Red skivvies are plentiful in Italian markets during the weeks leading to December 31. Get in on the action and buy some for your whole family!
Italy Travelling Around the New Year
Although New Year’s Eve doesn’t count as one of Italy’s main holidays, it can cause travel headaches if it’s not planned well.
It is Italy’s lowest season for tourism, however winter holidays cause an increase in accommodation and airfare costs. As people enjoy vacations in exotic places, crowd levels rise. You should book accommodation in advance even if you are a good planner. Otherwise, all hotels within your price range will be booked.
It is not Italy public holiday on December 31, but it is January 1. Some attractions, shops and restaurants will close and transportation will operate on a holiday schedule. You’ll be fine as long as you don’t plan to travel between cities on January 1, and you aren’t planning to eat out. You should book your transportation well in advance if you plan to travel on January 1. There are fewer trains and buses that operate, which means there will be fewer seats available on each route.
It is also important to mention that if your lifestyle doesn’t include staying up late and trying to make it in Italy on New Years Eve, then you should consider booking a room in a hotel that is as soundproof as possible. If a hotel offers an interior room, ask. Official fireworks shows are not allowed to continue all night. However, you cannot say the same about smaller displays. If you don’t plan your room carefully, you risk getting little sleep due to the loud fireworks that go off in many neighborhoods. If you’re able to do it, it’s best to take a nap mid-day and then enjoy the festivities until the Italians call it night (in the early hours of January). Keep an eye out for people walking after dark, as you never know what you might find.